Starring Peter Sellers

Starring Peter Sellers

12 Episodes

Comic chameleon Peter Sellers famously claimed to have no personality of his own. Instead, he saw himself as the medium through which his characters, which include some of the most memorable in all of twentieth-century cinema, were brought to life. Having pioneered a distinctly British brand of absurdist humor on the influential radio program “The Goon Show,” Sellers brought his peerless gifts for mimicry and physical transformation to the screen with standout turns in classics like THE LADYKILLERS and I’M ALL RIGHT JACK. It was Stanley Kubrick, however, who fully unleashed the actor’s potential, giving him virtuoso showcases in the provocative Nabokov adaptation LOLITA and the subversive Cold War spoof DR. STRANGELOVE, the latter of which made the most of Sellers’s remarkable talent for inhabiting multiple, meticulously realized characters within the same movie. Sellers set the template for a new kind of comic star—one who was as celebrated for his quick wit and improvisatory genius as he was for his actorly range and technical sophistication.

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Starring Peter Sellers
  • Starring Peter Sellers Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Let’s Go Crazy

    Episode 2

    Directed by Alan Cullimore • 1951 • United Kingdom
    Starring Peter Sellers

    Opportunistically produced to use up paid-for studio time booked for another short film (PENNY POINTS TO PARADISE), this musical comedy featurette was shot in Brighton over the course of one week. Set in a nightclub, it co...

  • The Ladykillers

    Episode 3

    Directed by Alexander Mackendrick • 1955 • United Kingdom
    Starring Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom

    This classic caper comedy is one of the finest examples of the distinctly English brand of macabre humor that flourished at Britain’s celebrated Ealing Studios. Alec Guinness stars as the ...

  • I’m All Right Jack

    Episode 4

    Directed by John Boulting • 1959 • United Kingdom
    Starring Ian Carmichael, Peter Sellers, Terry-Thomas

    One of a string of incisive social satires made by British filmmaking duo the Boulting brothers is a smartly caustic look at issues of corporate corruption and trade unionism in 1950s England. ...

  • The Mouse That Roared

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jack Arnold • 1959 • United Kingdom
    Starring Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell

    Peter Sellers runs riot in three hilarious roles in this outlandish political satire. Facing economic collapse because their country’s one export, a fine wine, has been undercut by a U.S. compan...

  • Never Let Go

    Episode 6

    Directed by John Guillermin • 1960 • United Kingdom
    Starring Richard Todd, Peter Sellers, Elizabeth Sellars

    Peter Sellers plays shockingly against type as a sadistic villain in this gritty, gut-punching noir. Already struggling to eke out a living as a cosmetics salesman, John Cummings (Richard ...

  • The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film

    Episode 7

    Directed by Richard Lester • 1959 • United Kingdom

    This film, directed by Richard Lester, was shot over two Sundays in 1959 for a cost of about seventy pounds. Nominated for an Oscar for best live-action short, it features Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Graham Stark, and Bruce Lacey.

  • Mr. Topaze

    Episode 8

    Directed by Peter Sellers • 1961 • United Kingdom
    Starring Peter Sellers, Nadia Gray, Herbert Lom

    Albert Topaze (Peter Sellers), a poor but proud French schoolmaster, loses his job after he refuses to alter the failing grades of one of his students. Seizing the opportunity to exploit his honesty...

  • Only Two Can Play

    Episode 9

    Directed by Sidney Gilliat • 1962 • United Kingdom
    Starring Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell

    Dissatisfied with his stale marriage, unfulfilled Welsh librarian John Lewis (Peter Sellers) finds an unexpected escape from his drab existence when the glamorous (and also married) Liz (M...

  • Lolita

    Episode 10

    Directed by Stanley Kubrick • 1962 • United States
    Starring James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon

    Working from Vladimir Nabakov’s adaptation of his own novel, Stanley Kubrick brought one of the most controversial stories of the twentieth century to the screen in the form of a devilishly dark co...

  • Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    Episode 11

    Directed by Stanley Kubrick • 1964 • United Kingdom
    Starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

    Stanley Kubrick’s painfully funny take on Cold War anxiety is one of the fiercest satires of human folly ever to come out of Hollywood. The matchless shape-shifter Peter Sellers plays thr...

  • The Optimists

    Episode 12

    Directed by Anthony Simmons • 1973 • United Kingdom
    Starring Peter Sellers, Donna Mullane, John Chaffey

    Peter Sellers displays his extraordinary range in an all-too-rare showcase for his dramatic talents. He stars as impoverished, retired vaudevillian Sam, who has taken to busking on the streets...